Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Reads


Natalie's Bookshelf: To Be Read


Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

The Stuff That Never Happened: A Novel

The One That I Want: A Novel

White House Chef: Eleven Years, Two Presidents, One Kitchen


What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir

I Don't Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated

Murder With Peacocks

Keepsake Crimes

Tragic Magic

Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year

The Hunger Games

The Help

The Abstinence Teacher

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bound South

Mermaids in the Basement

This One and Magic Life: A Novel of a Southern Family

Firefly Lane


Natalie's favorite books »


If you're seeing this via Google Reader, come on over for a visit! You'll notice that to your left is a brand new GoodReads widget. Isn't she pretty? Right now it's showcasing the books I've recently read. Hopefully the list will continue to grow over the summer!

When I was little, I loved to read. I remember checking out stacks of books from the library and reading them one after another. Sometimes I'd even read two or three at once.

As I got older, I stopped reading. Partly due to the increased amount of reading I needed to do for school, and partly due to those little things we call computers and tv sets. I know for a fact I spend more time than I should on the computer, and things like my attention span have definitely withered because of it! Spending hours with my nose in a book is rare for me these days, but I think it's time for a change.

This past weekend at home, I managed to finish not one, but two books. Crazy, right? They just sucked me in and I found myself pushing away my laptop so I could keep reading.

Finally I'm about to begin my last week of school (!!!) and I've got almost 4 months of summer coming up. As of right now, I don't have too many plans, so I figured why not read?

I've been using GoodReads since 2009, but other than keeping lists of what I'm reading and what books I want to read, I haven't done much with the site. This summer I'd like to become more involved, and maybe even join a virtual book club.

Also, I'm starting my own reading challenge for the summer! (Sassy Summer Stories? haha!)

Here's the current plan:
Beginning June 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010

  • June - 5 books
  • July - 4
  • August - 5
  • September - 4
  • October - 2 (not including school)
  • November - 2 (not including school)
  • December - 3 (not including school)

Total: 25!

Whew boy, that's a lot of reading! And I figured why stop when the summer's over? Might as well expand it through the end of the year. Approximately one a week over the summer, and then one every two weeks during the school year. December gets an extra because of Christmas break!

Can I do this? We'll see. Technically, I shouldn't have a problem with this. Realistically, I have a hard time following through with things like this.

Anyone else out there a GoodReads member? Let's be friends! Or even better, join me in reading this summer!

Couch to 5K - W7D1

Friday was Day 1 of Week 7!

I don't have much to say about this run. The weather has been much nicer here at home in Oregon than it has been at school. Even though it was pretty outside, I just never really got into the groove. Boooo!

What do you do when you can't get into the groove while you're working out?

No playlist for today, I listened to another podcast! This time it was 5 Successful Counterfeiters from Stuff You Should Know. Very interesting!

While it was nice to be home for a few days, I'm already back on campus. So much for a 3-day weekend, right? I have to work this afternoon, unfortunately. The weather's back to being cold and rainy, so I don't feel like I'm missing too much.

Here's a better picture of these nails, because I can't get enough of them!

And currently, I'm rocking this...

I hope everybody has a great and safe (and sunny) Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cause and Effect

Thanks for not running for the hills after my rant yesterday!

Right after I posted, I opened the front door for my roommate and saw this:

1. 24 hours?!
2. What time did they put this sign up?!

Long story short, our water came back around noon, right about the time when we had the heaviest torrential downpour I've ever seen. Instantly everything was flooded, and I could barely see the building across from us! We still don't have much hot water, and for a while everything was brown and yucky, but at least we have water.

This whole thing, as cheesy as this sounds, really did make me realize just how lucky we are to have clean water at all. I mean, we all freaked out about the situation and I even know people who went home  because of it. We had spare 'emergency' water to use, so we weren't entirely cut off. But I know that there are a lot of people in this world that don't have any water at all or they have water that's completely undrinkable and unusable.

A few things I found in this National Geographic article,
  • Of all of the freshwater on our planet, only 1% of it is usable. Everything else is trapped inside glaciers or snowfields. 
  • Only 0.007 percent of the planet's water is available to be used by the 6.8 billion people that live here
  • By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will be plagued by water scarcity, with 2/3 of the world's population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth, and climate change.
The podcast that I listened to on Monday talked a little bit about this topic too, and how urban planning can and will affect our use and availability of water.

I don't know what to think about this, really. Obviously it's a problem that needs to be fixed, but what can we do? Or rather what could I do personally? We hear about things like the global water crisis, or the oil spill in the Gulf, but a lot of times we don't hear about what we can do on a personal level to help. I know donating money is always an option, but I would like to get more involved with the cause.

Do any of you have causes that you're passionate about? What are they?

And on another, lighter note I have something to show you! 
I've been looking at pictures of nail art over the past few days, and this was one of my favorite designs I found. I decided to recreate it and here's the result...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Water, Water, Everywhere...

and not a drop to drink - literally!

(This is a semi-rant. You have been warned!)

We discovered around 10:30 last night that our apartment had no running water. All day we've had storms and downpours, and now we're water-less! Of course I was instantly thirsty, I had to pee, and I wanted to take a shower. Typical.

What I just love about the entire situation is that when we called the after-hours extension about the issue, they told us a water-main had broken. Okay, no big deal, that's not your fault. But then we learned that they weren't even going to look into fixing it (or the extent of the problem) until late this morning! Okay okay, that makes sense's raining and you don't want to go traipsing around late at night in the dark.

So we wash some dishes using water from our Brita filter, I make a lot of jokes about glamping and living Little House on the Prairie style, and life is good. And then I wake up to an email saying that most of the apartments 'are without water this morning'. (What about last night?!) And then, "We are working to determine the extent of the problem and the necessary repairs.  We will send further information as soon as we have the timeline for repair. " Faaaaantastic.

Normally I wouldn't be too annoyed by this because hey, things happen. But these are the same people that took over 4 months to replace our faulty refrigerator that not only peed all over our kitchen floor mulitple times a day, but it didn't keep things cold either! And they even sent us a new 'temporary roommate' at 11:30 pm without telling us we were getting one, which led to a pretty freaked out me wondering if she was just hearing things or if people really had just walked into the apartment and into a bedroom that hadn't been lived in since December. I don't mind that she's here, I just wish they had sent an email or told our RA or something. It's been a week and still not a word from them about the situation. Thanks y'all!

(All done! Thanks!)

In other news, my morning run may need to happen later this afternoon due to the weather. That's probably a good thing because I have a 20-page revision to finish and a presentation later this evening in class. I need to get to work!

And as a reward for sticking with me even though I'm unshowered:

Misa's Dirty Sexy Money

Monday, May 24, 2010

Couch to 5K - W6D2- Again!

The run:
55 degrees. Sunny! Don't worry mom, I remembered to wear sunscreen today. :)

Instead of doing Week 6 Day 3, which consists of 25 minutes non-stop running, I decided to repeat day 2. Not to worry though, it's pretty similar with two 10-minute intervals of running separated by a three minute walk break.  I did have to slow down to a walk for a minute during my second interval, but other than that things went pretty smoothly for me. Pacing is my biggest struggle - the only time I can keep an even pace is  when I'm on a treadmill - but I think I'm finally improving!

What did I listen to today?
Nothing! Okay, that's not entirely true. I didn't listen to music today. Instead, I went for a run with my new friends Josh and Chuck from Stuff You Should Know! I listened to their 'How Urban Planning Works' podcast. I've never tried running with anything other than music and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! Not only am I working out, but I'm learning things too! Andddd that's the end of my Public Service Announcement for the day. :)

Operation Cookie Update!
Oh yeah, this hasn't stopped! I mentioned on Saturday that I had made another batch of cookies, and they are now safely residing at home with my parents. And by safely residing, I mean the last 5 are cowering in fear of being eaten. I guess they enjoyed them! My mom sent the cutest text this morning that said "resisting the cookies." I'd call that a success!

These might be my favorite of the batch.
I didn't quite get the correct shade of red, but they're still cute. 

More marbling. Who knew it was so easy?

And a star for good measure. 

I'd call this test run a success!

And a question for you: what's your favorite sunscreen?
As I mentioned, I wore some on my run today and I'm really not a fan. Sunscreen is absolutely imperative, but I still haven't been able to find a brand that isn't gross. Right now I've got a tube of Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless and it's...okay. The biggest problem I have is with it staying white on my skin and turning kind of sticky and powdery at the same time. Almost as if it doesn't soak in? This could be because it's a higher SPF (55), or maybe it's from the 'Enviroblock triple defense technology'. Do you have this problem with your sunblock? I'm glad I've found one that doesn't sting when I sweat, but I hate not being able to touch anything without getting white stuff everywhere.

A little bit of spring...

Even though it's almost June, I think we've gotten to 70 degrees only once so far up here in Washington! There has been lots of rain and gloom, and today's high was only 52. The rainy season has been a big struggle this winter and spring. I guess there's still a little bit of California girl left in me!

So I figured, what better way to beat the darkness than a mani/pedi? Doing my nails while watching 50 First Dates almost makes up for the 20 page paper I had to finish today. Almost.


Yes, I went for the decal. Tacky? Maybe. 
Worth it? Absolutely.

Did you know I have a collection of over 200 nail polishes?
Oh yeah.

I can't tell you how excited I was when I bought my new pair of running shoes.
Finally, my pedicures survived a run!
Who knew I was wearing sneakers that were a size and a half too small?

I know it's Monday, but what are you looking forward to tomorrow?
 I've got a run planned, hopefully we'll see sunshine for more than an hour! Also it's my last Monday night class of the quarter. We're getting very very close to the end of my junior year of college!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Couch to 5K - W6D2

Took a break from my cookies for a run! I headed downtown this morning, which was a nice change of pace. I don't have a GPS or anything, but I could tell ran a lot faster than I usually do. Maybe because I had a lot more to look at? This route was definitely a lot more interesting and stimulating than the one I usually run.

Our weather hasn't been great at all this past week, but the rain held off until I finished. 52 degrees and very cloudy. I tried out the new Champion top I posted about a few weeks ago. Even though it took forever and a day to get here, it totally redeemed itself this morning! Super cute and comfy.

Music: Girl Talk!

  • In Step
  • Give Me A Beat
  • Shut The Club Down
  • Don't Stop
  • Play Your Part (part 1)
  • Here's The Thing
  • Hands In The Air

Girl Talk and Super Mash Bros are probably my favorite songs for when I just want to run with a beat. I seriously can't get enough of mash-ups either. If only I had those skills!

Other random tidbits:
  • I'm about 95% done with my second batch of decorated cookies. This was my 'trial run' for the designs I want to do for the end-of-the-year potluck my class is having. They turned out pretty well, and I think instead of eating all of them I'll bring all 28 of them home to my parents! 
  • Iced coffee is still my addiction. Recently I discovered that World Market carries mini bottles of Torani syrup. UM. Awesome! I bought the raspberry this morning, and I'm drinking a raspberry iced coffee right now. So delicious. I have a bottle of International Delight coffee creamer in the fridge, but for some reason I don't think it's as flavorful as the syrups are. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
  • radio is almost as good as Pandora, if anyone's looking for an alternative. I've been using since 2007, and I love to look at the charts of my top artists and songs! 
Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Operation Cookie: Complete!

It's official, I have found a new hobby.

Last year, I was all about the tie-dye. 
But then I started to wonder what I would do with a million tie-dyed shirts.

Cookies, on the other hand...

I think I could handle an overabundance of cookies.

This was the first time in my life I have successfully made sugar cookies without crying. Not only did I manage to use my rolling pin and cookie cutters without disaster, but I also made my own icing!

Sometimes you will fight with your piping bag. 
And the piping bag will win.

Other times, you will work together to create beautiful cookies.

Marbling looks great, and it's easy to do when you have the right consistency of icing.
Who knew you could do things like this?

A few lessons learned from Operation Cookie:

  • This is a multi-day process. You can't make, bake, and decorate a batch of cookies in one day. I know, I know, that sounds crazy. But this takes patience! You could whip up the dough and cut and bake in one day for sure, but the icing is a whole other story.
  • Patience is key. After you outline a cookie, it's best to let that completely dry before you move on. If it's black, this could take 24 hours! Same for when you flood a cookie with one color (like the above fishie). Unless you want the next color to bleed or sink into your base, you need to let that completely dry!
  • There a lots and lots of cookie blogs out there that feature the most amazing and beautiful cookies you have ever seen. Your cookies will not look like this.
  • Remember that the professionals use name brand icing colors and fancy projectors to create their designs. As a beginner, it's okay to use store brand gel colors and freehand smiley faces.
  • When outlining a cookie, the higher you hold the tip from the surface, the easier it is to draw a straight line.
  • If your piping bag is malfunctioning and spitting out blobs and uneven lines, take the tip off and clean it! Be careful though, because if your icing is too runny you will come back to a table covered in a puddle of black goo. That was fun to clean up!
  • You get to eat all of your mistakes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Couch to 5K - W6D1 - I ran. And I baked.

I said I would, so I did!

Just back from my first run of week six. Today's run consisted of: 5-3-8-3-5 (run/walk). This is my very last week of intervals! I don't even want to think about the next two weeks right now. Twenty minutes feels like a long time.

Temperature was 54 and cloudy, but I did see a little bit of sun as I finished my run. Even though I wanted to stop, I pushed myself through all of the running intervals, and I'm glad I did that. I'm working on this whole perseverance thing! Total distance (not counting warmup/cool down) was exactly 2 miles.

And today's music:

  • Magic - B.O.B. ft. Rivers Cuomo
  • Don't Let Me Fall - B.O.B.
  • Crossroads - John Mayer
  • Desperately Wanting - Better Than Ezra
  • Assassin - John Mayer
  • The Kids - B.O.B. ft. Janelle Monae
  • Come Original - 311
  • Hit The Ground Runnin' - Keith Urban
Kind of a weird mixture of genres, but it worked for me! 

Finally, two cookie pictures! They're from my iPhone so they're not the prettiest, but I couldn't wait to show them off. :)
L- My second attempt at outlining with a piping bag. (You don't want to see my first try! And I ate it.)
R- Check it out, I can draw even lines!

Not the prettiest picture at ALL, but this is some of my progress so far. 
I wanted to let everything dry so I could try out some more techniques today.

Definitely not as pretty as the cookie blogs out there, but I have to remind myself this is the first time I've made cookie cutter cookies without crying! Haha! What can I say? I'm a perfectionist. For years the only kind of cookie I would make were the kind you drop right onto the pan. And now I love rolling and cutting. Go figure!

True confession: I haven't run since Sunday.

True confession: I haven't run since Sunday.

My knees have been aching, and I haven't been feeling too well these past few days. With every day that goes by, I feel like my progress is going backward. Where'd my excitement for running go?

When the going gets tough, I'm one of those people that changes direction rather than work through the tough. Yikes! I've always been like this, and I think it's one of my biggest shortcomings. Admitting it is the first step though, right?

What have I been doing instead of running? Making cookies! I just finished my very first batch ever of sugar cookies. Hearts, and stars, and fish, and butterflies are all over the kitchen in various stages of being iced. I'm having so. much. fun. You wouldn't believe it! Everything is a mess and I can't seem to get my colors past the murky pastel stage, but I don't even care. Drawing is definitely not a real-life skill of mine, but when it comes to a pastry bag and a cookie, apparently I've got wicked awesome outlining skills!

I will run today. I was planning on taking a yoga class this morning, but I think my run should come first right now.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Couch to 5K - W5D3

Week Five is finished! I'm not sure if I'd call today's run fun, but it was an experience. :)

Overcast and 55 degrees, but I'm pretty sure it was closer to 60 near the end. Right when I got to my car a few raindrops began to fall, but we're not due for real rain until later this afternoon.

The first 10 minutes flew by, and I felt pretty comfortable. As soon as I hit the halfway point though, things started to go downhill. My lungs were not happy to be working hard so early in the morning. I took a minute or so walk break - so I guess you could say I cheated - but other than that I just pushed myself to finish. Slowwww goings though, I only ran a little over 1.5 miles. I think that's about a 13 minute pace? That's okay for me though!

Unfortunately, my knees complained for the entire 20 minutes. I'm not sure if this is normal aches and pains or if it's something else. Previously I've had arch problems and hip problems, but never anything with my knees! I'm 20, I shouldn't feel this old. Found some icepacks in the freezer, so we'll see if those help any.

Music for today:
When I Look To The Sky - Train
Following Rita - Train
Getaway - Train
Counting Airplanes - Train
Sex On Fire - Kings of Leon
Closer - Kings of Leon
Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
Be Somebody - Kings of Leon

Lots of variety, right? ;) I'll always love both of these bands, but I probably should have chosen something with a little more power for my 'long' run.

Today was also the Capital City Marathon! I hope everyone that ran had a great time!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Takin' it easy.

Zumba on Thursday was great, and I loved it. Running on Friday? Not so much. My knees were not happy with me, so I decided it would be best if I played it safe. So, I called off the run and I'll try one more time tomorrow. I figure as long as I get in 3 runs a week I'm still on track, right?

Now that I've accomplished my Zumba goal, that means it's time to accomplish my yoga goal! My gym has a hatha yoga class during the day, so I'll be giving that a shot this coming week. I know "gym yoga" is a lot different than "yoga yoga", but I don't have to pay extra for these classes. And I figure stretching is stretching!

In other news, it's officially crunch time since we're nearing the end of a quarter. I turned in my 20-pager yesterday, and I have two presentations in the coming week. After that it's two more weeks of class, one huge revision, one more intense research paper, a Saturday class, and I am freeeee for the summer! That is, after I find a way to cram everything I own into the back of my car. It's like Tetris!

I hope everyone's having a great weekend! Let's hope my knees hold out for tomorrow's run!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I finally understand the love and devotion people have for Zumba. I was skeptical, and my previous experiences had been far from magical, but this class has allowed me to see the light.

We actually had two instructors, which I think made it a lot easier to follow along. They didn't do much vocal cue-ing, which I was a little nervous about at first, but I didn't have any problems with the steps!

Tonight was the most coordinated I've ever been in my entire life. I have noooo idea where that came from, but I loved it. The classroom was probably 90 degrees and I had to take a quick break a few times for water, but other than that it was non-stop dancing with lots of yelling and lots of booty shaking. Tons of fun, but I really really didn't enjoy the heat. That's just me though, I don't handle heat and humidity too well. I guess it adds to the atmosphere though? We were transported to Latin America via magical workout room!

So two questions remain:
1. Why did I put off going to Zumba for so long? I'll heading home in just a few weeks, and I don't think the gym near my house has anyone teaching Zumba. It's going to be a long summer.
2. Who knew they had cute Zumba clothes? Where can I buy the adorable hot pink cargo pants? (Okay, that was three questions, I lied)

Tomorrow's my longest run yet (20 consecutive minutes), and I think I may take a little field trip so I can run somewhere new and exciting. It's supposed to be 74 and sunny!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Couch to 5K - W5D2

Week 5 is halfway done. Not only is it Wednesday (finally), but I only have one more run left this week!

Today's run:

  • 52 degrees
  • SUNNY. Must find a cooler hat to wear. 
  • 2+ miles. I have no idea how far I ran exactly, but it was at least 2 miles.
  • The first 8 minutes were cool. The walking break was wonderful. The next 5 minutes were okay. The last 3 minutes were hell. 
  • I only walked when I was 'allowed'. I considered skipping out on the last 3 minutes since it was all uphill, but I stuck it out.
  • When I say I ran today, I mean I shuffled slowly.
  • My knees hurt. :(
All things considered, I'm really proud of how well week 5 has gone so far. It hasn't been easy at all, but I've been getting though it! I don't want to talk about Friday's 20 minute run. That may be small potatoes to many runners, but for this girl it's going to be tough!

Music was all over the place today: (Click to listen on Youtube.)

I've got LOTS of writing to do for class tonight, a bunch of research to finish for a meeting on Thursday, classes to register for, a 20-page draft to write by Saturday, and some more workouts coming up! What a busy week it's been, but I only have 24 days left of school! Yes, I'm counting.

Monday, May 10, 2010

(Kanye's) New Work-Out Plan

So Kanye and I had a little sit-down last night, and we decided it was time for me to get back into the groove of things. (Yeah, we're bffs, it's okay to be jealous.) I really miss lifting weights!

Working out is always easier for me when I have a specific event in mind, like when I was getting ready for my spring break reunion trip back in March. And now, preparing for my 5k in June is another goal that I have to work towards.

Monday - Couch to 5k
Tuesday - Chest & Back + Abs + Cardio
Wednesday - Couch to 5k
Thursday - Arms & Shoulders + Abs + Zumba!
Friday - Couch to 5k
Saturday - Legs & Butt + Abs + Cardio
Sunday - Rest!

I would love to get into some classes at my gym, but unfortunately I'm either at work or in school during almost all of the ones I'm interested in.

BUT - There's a Zumba class I've been meaning to try for a long time, so this is the week! I've taken two or three Zumba classes before, but this will be the first one with this teacher. The first time is always the hardest, but it's totally worth it. And now that the universe knows, I have to do it!

Yoga and Spin are two other classes I'm interested in, as well. I've taken a few yoga classes before, ranging from Power Yoga in Santa Monica (with Brian Kest!) to 10 weeks of gentle yoga with my class back in the fall (which culminated with a concussion due to my poor handstand coordination). Super-chain gym yoga isn't as woo-woo or meditative as 'real' yoga, but we're talking baby steps here. Zumba class this week, Yoga next week.

Okay and spin. I'm terrified to take a spin class. They're so intimidating! So hardcore! I'm pretty sure I'll fall off. And then I'll have bruises. Do I need special shoes? Should I bring water? Will everybody laugh at me for not knowing how to work the bike? Oh man.

So, Zumba this week, Yoga next week and then...Spin the week after that. I think it's time I face my stationary bike fears.

What's your plan for this week?

Couch to 5K - W5D1

Today was the very first day of week 5, which may be the most intimidating week of the entire plan.

It started out simply enough, with 5 minutes of running followed by 3 minutes of walking. Each time the little man inside my iPhone told me to run, I did. And we repeated this three times.

On Wednesday I get to run for 8 minutes. Then I walk for 5. Run for 8 more minutes. That's totally doable.

Friday? Well. On Friday I run for 20 minutes. TWENTY MINUTES. With no walking. Oh man.

Cross that bridge when we come to it though, right?

So for today's run:

  • 47 degrees
  • Cloudy. (I miss yesterday's sun! But it's supposed to be in the 70s on Thursday and Friday. SO EXCITED)
  • 2 miles - according to MapMyRun. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but I'll go with it. One day I will have a Garmin. One day!
Music wise, I felt the need for some hip-hop. 
  • Hip-Hop Saved My Life - Lupe Fiasco ft. Nikki Jean - LOVE this song.
  • All Of The Above - Maino ft. T-Pain 
  • Chillin - Wale ft. Lady Gaga 
  • (Apparently I was all about the featured tracks!)
  • Ridin' Solo - Jason Derulo
  • Pretty Girls - Wale ft. Gucci Man
  • Women Lie, Men Lie - Yo Gotti ft. Lil Wayne (my boyfriend.)
  • Can't Be Tamed - Miley Cyrus
Oh hey, Miley. Not too sure how she got in there! Okay, true confession, I really like the song. The video isn't too bad either. Sure, I feel like she's trying hard to be Britney circa-2000, but it's all good!

Last night I made the cutest, yummiest apple cinnamon muffins. I highly recommend them, and you can find the recipe here. (Don't worry if your batter isn't pourable like the recipe says it should be, mine wasn't but they turned out delish.)

And now it's time I get down to work. Right now I feel like what little motivation I had at the beginning of the quarter has disappeared. Unfortunately, I still have 3 weeks left! And during those 3 weeks I have 2 HUGE papers to write. Come back motivation....come back!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Couch to 5K - W4D3 - I talk about stairs. A LOT.

Week 4 is finished! 54 degrees and sunny, no wind, rain or freak hailstorms in sight. About an hour before I ventured out I had some breakfast, and I was rewarded with no headache. Hopefully this means I don't have to give up my beloved homemade iced coffee. Fingers crossed!

Anyway, along with my usual musical recap, I thought I'd post some pictures of my run from beginning to end. Let's go.

Definitely tripped over these when I woke up. Grrrrreat start to my morning. 

The keys are what's really important here, but can we take a look at everything I have due this month? I can't tell you how excited I was that I could fit everything on this calendar. That's how close I am to being finished with my junior year!
 (And yes, I really should NOT be complaining. I'm absurdly lucky to not have to deal with finals. But these 50 pages of writing ARE a little intimidating!)

Moving on! I'm really here to grab my keys. Don't you just love the wristlet? 
I popped off my house-key and stuck it in the inside pocket of my shorts.
Let's talk about this for a second. I love my Tempos. Really, I do. However. I do not love the 'internal card/key' pocket. It just has a little flap, no velcro or snaps or anything. Knowing me, I would lose my key without realizing it halfway through my run. Super fun. 
So this morning, instead of switching back to my cute leggings with the zippered butt pocket (sexy, right?), I improvised.
I binder-clipped my key to the pocket.
That's right. I folded it over itself and clipped it in there with a mini binder clip.
How'd it work? PERFECTLY. Please try this.

Hey Lily-Mae! Isn't her ducky sticker the cutest? A friend decorated her on Cinco de Mayo, she's even got a dinosaur on the back. Yes, I name my Apple products. You should see the reactions I get from the Genius Bar. Priceless. (Don't let me forget to tell the story of the unfortunate passing of Celia!)

I have an iPod Nano (Costell), but I rarely run with him. For one, I don't have a Nano sized case (though I could use this one!). Also, I'm using the C25K app on my phone! I absolutely love the app, but I'm not the world's biggest fan of running with an armband. Oh well.
These headphones are great too, they don't fall out! They're not noise-blocking, but that's not a downside for me at all. Safety first!

Ready to go! 
Oh man, I must have missed 'how to take a myspace pic' day in middle school. 
I'm not that weirdly proportioned, I'm just bent over. Cute. You also can't tell in this picture, but about halfway through my run I realized my shirt was on inside out. Skills, I tell ya, skills!

It was (and still is right now) gorgeous outside.

And there was absolutely no one outside. 
I think I saw maybe 5 people the whole time I was out.

Oh yeah, we keep it classy. 
You would think this pro-graffiti area would discourage people from spray painting other places, right?
Yeah, it doesn't.

One of my many 'gradual uphill' slopes.
Aka a freakin' hill!
Um, it looked more intense in person?

These stairs are horrible.
I had to stop and walk down them.

Not because my legs hurt.
Oh no. It's worse than that.
They confuse me.
You read that right! These are the most confusing stairs in the world.
Instead of being shaped like this:
they were built like this:
Which means unless you start at the very middle of the top (which you can't because there's a supper pillar), you have to walk down them diagonally (sideways?)
It's bad enough when you're having a good day, but you should have seen my trying to get up and down these stairs last winter. I had given myself a concussion during yoga (I'm awesome), and this was just way too much for my brain at the time. I literally stopped and stared at them for quite some time until my roommate realized I was seriously struggling to comprehend how to use the stairs.
Like I said, I've got skills.

Once I got past the stairs, time flew by!
The only time I struggled (aside from you-know-what) was during my last 5-minute run. I had a bit of a side cramp and my legs just felt dead. I walked for about 20 seconds and then I just powered through!

Home again, home again! 
I'm glad to be done with week 4, but I can't say I'm too jazzed about what's coming next. I remember hating week 5 last time I did the C25K program. But if it's all about the mind-set, then I need to push that aside and think positively!

And today's music: As promised, it's Britney!
(You Drive Me) Crazy (The Stop! Remix)
Rock Me In
(I Got That) Boom Boom

Ehh. I love Britbrit, but these songs didn't do much as far as motivating me. Possibly because I've heard them all a million times by now?

I hope everyone's having a beautiful Saturday. Get outside and do something! :)